There’s a tale behind how these happy and outgoing little dogs came to be. During the 17th century, the Dalai Lama gave a Lhasa Apso to the Emperor of China. The Emperor had a Pekingese in his palace, who then mated with the Lhasa, resulting in the world’s first litter of Shih Tzu puppies.
Shih Tzu became popular in the Imperial Court but, after the death of Empress Tzu-Hsi in 1908, breeding came to a stop.
Worse came with the Communist Revolution in China, which nearly caused these dogs to become extinct. It’s said 14 Shih-Tzus were introduced into England, however, and the breed was saved. We’re grateful for that small miracle. And the small miracle that is the Shih-Tzu.